New EK Hatch build with very specific goals. Need some advice!

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braggadoshis

New Member
I recently decided to sell my wife's 05' Grand Cherokee as we both have SUV's and I wanted something more fun with better gas mileage. A few weeks of looking at A LOT of cars new and used has ended me up here. I am very attracted to the performance that can be with these swaps for a reasonable dollar amount. The used/new cars I was most interested in were the VW GTI, and Mini Cooper S. I was actually very impressed by the looks of an EK Hatch with a solid paintjob, and decided to look into buying one to mod. I do not have one yet, but in my area it will probably run me $2500-3000 so factor that into the price of everything else.

My Goal: Use the roughly $10k I will be getting from the sale of the cherokee to get a reliable daily driver, that compares to the drive of a Mini Cooper S.

Additional Info:
-I will be going automatic as I am stuck in heavy traffic for 2-3 hours every other day.
-I will be redoing much of the interior like leather/dash/headunit/solid SQ system so not all of the $10k is going to the swap/tuning.
-I will be getting a new Charcoal paintjob and good rims/tires if I find a good deal
-I am not interested in racing at all at the moment. I just like gunning it light to light, and having a little fun on a freeway onramp/offramp,passing cars, or bombing down an empty street late at night.
-None of the swap will be done myself. I will be handling the majority of the interior fixes and sound system, but don't trust myself with that. How much should the swap cost me for labor?

I have been researching a lot into the different engine swaps, but most of the information I am finding is catered towards people looking to street race or take it to a track. So what engine would people recommend for a FUN, RELIABLE, daily driver that performs like a Mini Cooper S? From what I have read the B18C1 or B18C5 seem like the right choice, as the HP is very comparable to the Mini Cooper, but if there is a cheaper swap that can get me the feel of the Mini I would love to hear about it. Also, where do I buy a B18 engine? I can't really find a place online that is selling them for the prices I hear other people talking about.

Thanks a ton for any advice I get! I hope to get the balling rolling on this within the next 2 weeks.
 

BrutalB83

Brutal Moderator
Moderator
VIP
You're really limiting yourself by choosing to keep it automatic. You can do a B18 swap, but your only readily-available option for a transmission will be the Integra RS/LS/GS transmission, which is a 4 speed that's geared for mileage and not performance.

They did make some automatic B16 and B18C trannys with sportier gearing in Japan, but finding one of those stateside will be a trick, and most likely, expensive. And as far as I know, they never made any automatic Type Rs, so if you absolutely MUST keep it automatic, I'd stay away from a B18C5 or a B16. Those engines are rev happy, and they really NEED a short-geared transmission to get the most out of them. The B18C1 (Integra GS-R engine) would suit the LS transmission a little better, but even then, it's not an ideal setup and it most likely won't satisfy you if you're looking for a Cooper S type experience...
 
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braggadoshis

New Member
Thanks for the response Brutal. I was not aware I would be limiting myself that much by wanting to go automatic. I actually have never driven stick, and was trying to avoid it, but if I need to I will go learn in my friends car. If I do go manual, do the B18C's satisfy what I am trying to do?
 

BrutalB83

Brutal Moderator
Moderator
VIP
Thanks for the response Brutal. I was not aware I would be limiting myself that much by wanting to go automatic. I actually have never driven stick, and was trying to avoid it, but if I need to I will go learn in my friends car. If I do go manual, do the B18C's satisfy what I am trying to do?

Yes, I think the B18C1 swap should satisfy you. The Cooper S has gotten a bit faster over the years (it was about a 16 second 1/4 mile back in 02ish, but now it's more like 15 seconds). An EK Civic with a full GS-R swap and some trimmings (intake, header, exhaust, maybe some tuning) could easily put up numbers like that.

As for driving a manual in heavy traffic, it can be a bit annoying, but I do it every day and don't mind at all. It's totally worth it for when you get a stretch of road where you can open it up. My opinion anyway...
 

braggadoshis

New Member
Thanks Brutal. I think I will go that direction with this. Would I "feel" a significant power increase from the B18C1 to the B18C5? If it is really only going to help top speed I dont care since I am never going over 90ish.
 

RoughKnight

Christmas Car
No, you won't, it's a vary slight power increase for the amount of cash you shell out. Transmission wise, it'll be a lot faster due to shorter gears.

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